Life update: currently in Belgium. Have eaten lots and lots and lots of frites covered in mayonnaise, waffles (sorry, wafels) covered in ice cream, beer topped off with more beer, and chocolate/pastries filled with marzipan. Luckily, every tasty food spot is cash only; I'm low on euro and I can't find ATMs in this town because they're disguised as Belle's house in Beauty and the Beast. Everything in Antwerp looks like Belle's house.
In other news, I've been on a real Korean cooking kick. Have you noticed? That's because Korean food tastes maaarvelous and, guys I can't say this enough: as long as you have the basics in your pantry/freezer, you can put together a super nutritious meal in MINUTES. I know I keep saying this, so maybe I'll put together a little shopping list for you soon that you can order to get yourself stocked up. And then you'll be able to make....
Ddukbokki! This rice cake dish, if you're not familiar, is uber chewy and super spicy. It's food that, if it wasn't so hot and so chewy you'd shovel it down way too fast. It forces you to take your time, which makes it that much better. Ddukbokki is like Korea's Kraft macaroni and cheese. It's comfort food that you eat after school. It makes that squishy-slimy noise when you eat it, but it's delightful and a perfect accompaniment for zoning out while you watch TRL. Or whatever kids watch after school nowadays--YouTube Red or Snapchat Stories or something? Here's how you make it!
- 1 pound rice cakes (dduk!)
- 3 cups dashi or fish stock
- 1/3 cup gochujang
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru
- hard boiled eggs or fish cakes (optional)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Separate out your rice cakes into smaller pieces (they tend to stick together), or if frozen, allow to thaw a bit and then break up.
- Bring stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add in gochujang, sugar, and gochugaru. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the pepper paste melts. You'll now have a fiery red sauce.
- Add rice cakes into the sauce and cook. I like to use cooking chopsticks at this point to peel apart the rice cakes from one another some more, ensuring that all of the cylindrical shapes get covered in the tasty, spicy sauce.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice cakes have softened. At this point, add in a hard boiled egg or some fish cakes, but you don't have to.
- Top with green onions and enjoy alongside your favorite panchan, or on its own.